Although the saddle and pedals are one of the most important things you should consider when investing in a mountain bike, you should also focus on the grips as well. How come?! Well, the reason is pretty simple and obvious – they can affect your comfort, endurance and bike control a lot, so investing in the right ones is quite important. In fact, the greater the grip quality, the better, otherwise you are risking to deal with a lot of problems like hand discomfort and unfortunately in some cases with long-term hand pain.
Luckily, avoiding this is easy by choosing to invest in quality handlebar hand grips. Generally speaking, grips are designed to ensure the hands stay firmly attached to the handlebars even in wet conditions. Usually, handlebar hand grips are made out of rubber or rubber-like material, however, you can also invest in leather, foam, TRP body and aluminum liquid coating clamp, canvas lined grips and even cork surface handlebar grips. The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the right material is that synthetic ones manage moisture by repelling it, while foam and natural materials like canvas and leather absorb moisture. Regarding rubber, keep in mind that softer rubber surfaces tend to offer a better grip even when you’re not wearing gloves as opposed to the harder and less sticky rubbers. However, the former tend to wear out more quickly.
On the other hand, you can choose between grips with knobby patterns or ones that are completely smooth. And just like the smoother ones are designed with non-slip performance and comfort in mind, so are the knobby ones. Even though the latter ones seem to offer better no-slip performance, studies show that both types can offer the same thing. The one and only benefit knobby patterns have over grips with smooth surface is that you can easily spot the signs of wear on them.
Since riding a mountain bike through rougher tracks can be quite though, keeping inconveniences at minimum is the least you can do for yourself. Choosing a good grip handlebar is a good way to start, so opting for ones that offer great padding and vibration damping is ideal for keeping your hands comfortable even on extremely long and bumpy roads.
Fortunately, nowadays you can choose from different types of grips offering different padding levels, which can definitely ease the choice. And since hands differ in shapes and sizes, there are different sizes of bike grips as well. For example, the outer grip diameters range somewhere between 27 and 35mm, so riders with bigger hands should choose grips with a larger diameter and vice versa. If you choose a grip that is too small or too large, it can lead to increased discomfort and palm pain when riding.